2017 Fantasy Football Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Kelley

I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

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2016 Fantasy Recap

Somehow the Chiefs managed to go 12-4 last season. Their quarterback was boring, their running back was average, the wide receivers were uninspiring. In fact, the only good parts on the team were the tight end and the return teams. Even the Defense was not very good. The only thing they did good was limit touchdowns scored on them. But they were in the bottom half of total, passing, and rushing yards. When you rely on special teams and your tight end to carry it will only take you so far. As a result, the Chiefs went out and addressed skill positions in three of their first four picks in the draft. Will it help make the team more flashy? Only time will tell.

Key Additions and Losses

Additions:

  • Patrick Mahomes (Draft)
  • Kareem Hunt (Draft)

Losses:

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Quarterback Fantasy Outlook

2017 fantasy football Chiefs team previewSince coming to the Chiefs in 2013 Alex Smith has been extraordinarily average. Between 3,200 and 3,500. Between 15 and 23 touchdowns, and between six and eight interceptions. While the regular season wins pile up, the post season wins have been rare. Currently, Smith is trending as a low QB2 and that is pretty much what we can expect from him. As a result, unless you are in a 2QB league there is no reason to be drafting him at all. I would much rather settle on a low QB2 with a much greater upside to them. Something to note is with Smith’s contract coming into an option year, the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes as his possible replacement. I do not think Mahomes will get any playing time this year unless Smith is injured of course, but dynasty leaguers may want to invest in Mahomes as next years possible replacement for Smith.

Grade: C+

Running Back Fantasy Outlook

2017 fantasy football Chiefs team previewWhen the Chiefs selected Kareem Hunt in the third round many people were talking about how he is the replacement for Spencer Ware because of how poor of a job he did last year. If you look at his numbers though they were not all that bad. He rushed for 214/921/3 and caught 33/447/2. I will grant you his touchdowns were pretty low, but the rest of his numbers were pretty solid for an RB2. The reason why I think the went out and got Hunt was because they wanted a guy that could complement Ware. Ware’s current backup is Charcandrick West who did not do a very good job at running when Ware needed rest. So while Ware might get a little less usage, I don’t think it will be dramatically less. I am looking at 190 carries for 850 yards and four touchdowns, with similar use in the passing game as last year. Hunt will be eased in with around 100 carries for 450 yards and three touchdowns. Leaving West waiting for an injury. Even if Hunt takes more of the load from Ware I think that will cause Ware to be more involved in the passing game. Ware is too good to be just pushed a side for an unproven rookie. Ware is typically trending as RB19, which I am comfortable with, and Hunt coming in at RB41 respectively.

Grade: B-

Wide Receiver Fantasy Outlook

2017 fantasy football Chiefs team previewWide receiver is the position I am most interested in, and it is not because of Tyreek Hill either, I want to see what Chris Conley does now that he is the likely starter. Don’t get me wrong here, Hill is the best wide receiver to own in Kansas City, but let be honest as a receiver he is pretty boring. Just look at his stats as a receiver, 61/593/6. This is not Earth shattering numbers, in fact if he was just a receiver he would have been ranked 50th last year. But because of 24 carries for 267 yards and three touchdowns and throw in 975 return yards and three more touchdowns he all of the sudden he is a top 20 wide receiver. That said he is only coming off the board as the WR27 which is probably a pretty good balance considering I do not think he does as well in the run game or the return game this year. He will still get some good plays but he is not catching anyone off guard this year. But like I said that is not who I am interested in seeing. Chris Conley is entering his third year as a pro, and that is the typical year you see wide receiver come into their own. Chris caught 17 passes his rookie year and 44 last year, and now that he will starting every week, we will get a chance to see what he can do. I am thinking he can catch around 60 passes for 720 yards and five touchdowns and those kind of numbers should be enough to get him into the top 50 making a nice bye week option for a guy that might not even get drafted. After Hill and Conley, there currently is no other wide receiver to consider as their offense does not air it out enough to support that many.

Grade: B-

Tight End Fantasy Outlook

The Chiefs best offensive weapon last was Travis Kelce. Their best offensive weapon this year is going to be Kelce again. Kelce could easily be considered the number one tight end in fantasy football. Only a full season of Gronk would have something to say about that. Kelce has gone up in receptions and yards each year he has been in the league. The only number that has not gone up was touchdowns, which is what probably keeps him at TE2 instead of TE1. Though given the Chiefs offense I don’t think the lack of touchdown production is a result of Kelce’s effort. He is scoring a little over 20 percent of their touchdowns. Currently, Kelce is coming off the board late third and early fourth, and I would reach for him there as well. There are only a handful of tight ends I would take before round 10 and he is one of them. Having Kelce is like having an extra receiver on the team.

Grade: A

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Defensive Fantasy Outlook

On defense the chiefs were not very good fantasy wise. I know they lead the league in interceptions, but come one six of them game against the Jets in week three. I know we can’t just ignore them, but we should take their league leading 18 interceptions with a grain of salt. But they were good enough to put up some points in other areas as well. What sets the Chiefs defense a part is if you get return yards from special teams for your defense. If you don’t get those points then don’t bother with their defense, but if you do get them they will be considered one of the best to have. So assuming you get special team points I would be willing to take the Chiefs as my defense at the end of the draft.

Grade: A

Michael Kelley is a member of the Going For 2 team. You can check out his website Dynasty League Problems for more writings or find him on Twitter @mikekelleydlp spreading fantasy knowledge for the masses.

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I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

Latest posts by Michael Kelley (see all)

Michael Kelley

I have been playing fantasy football since 1991. My first draft I had the first pick and the first player I ever drafted was Randall Cunningham. I remember that because he broke his leg in the first series of the season. Since then I have been hooked on fantasy football and I have not and will not ever draft a QB in the first round again.

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